The electrical panel in your home should last a long time but not indefinitely. The good news is that there are clear signs it’s time to replace the panel. Knowing when you need to do so is essential to keeping everything functioning as it should.
1. The Panel is Outdated
Many homes have panels with a split-buss design, which might not meet current needs with the number of devices that households use now. Another thing to remember is that many of these older panels are now off-market because of known safety issues, making upgrading to a newer option the better choice.
2. Your Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping
Breakers that trip frequently often indicate an overloaded circuit. Older panels, for example, might not be able to keep up with today’s appliances, TVs, and HVAC systems running simultaneously.
Most older panels have a maximum of 60 or 100 amps, which was sufficient for homes in the 1980s. However, newer homes have 200 amps, which makes it easier to meet most current needs without the breakers tripping and similar issues.
3. Your Lights Dim or Flicker a Lot
Lights not on a dimmer switch should never grow dim. If your lights frequently dim when using appliances, the problem could be that your panel cannot meet your demands.
4. You Have Possible Fire or Water Damage
Any of the following are signs of a fire threat:
- A warm panel
- Non-functioning outlets
- Scorched outlets
- A burnt smell
Bad smells might indicate charring from melted wiring insulation or scorched breakers. If there are signs of rust, there might be water infiltration. In either circumstance, a replacement panel is the appropriate solution.
5. You’ve Purchased New Major Appliances
Buying new appliances, such as central HVAC systems or washers and dryers, may come with increased power usage compared to your previous devices. An overloaded circuit box is risky, so you may benefit from an upgrade.
6. The Panel is Too Small
You might need a replacement if your home’s panel is not 200 amps or higher. You’ll be in a better position to see to your household’s electrical needs with time, and an upgrade of this kind may increase your home’s value.
Several circumstances require an electrical panel upgrade. This upgrade is essential to your home’s safety and the efficiency of your devices. Contact Economy in Camarillo, CA for all your electrical panel needs.